Why I've Decided a Finished Basement is Not for Me...
From the perspective of Cassie Kohrs – Administrative Assistant, SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati
When you think of buying a new home what do you envision? When I was younger I dreamed of the perfect basement where I could host parties and my future kids could play. I wanted to be able to walk out of my basement and right into my backyard. What I didn’t think of though, are the disasters that can happen that may make my picturesque home an expensive project to fix! As an administrative assistant at SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati, answering customer calls day after day, I have learned a few things! While I don’t own a home yet, I definitely hope to in the future. That is why I am thankful to this industry for teaching me what to look out for when I finally get to buy that dream home.
One of the very first things I noticed when I started working for SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati is a trend of storm damage to basements. When Cincinnati gets hit with heavy storms the most common place we clean up is the basement. We see damage all the time from sump pump failures, sewage backups, water flooding in from window wells, and underneath doors. Many times these basements are finished and we have to tear out carpet, padding, and drywall. These are often expensive to clean up and then put back together and in some cases the damage isn’t even covered by insurance. It didn’t take long for me to become disillusioned from that perfect finished basement! That however, doesn’t mean that this has to become wasted space.
Basements, even if unfinished can be a great place for many things. For instance, a basement makes the perfect laundry room. Growing up I didn’t have a finished basement but my dad built a great table that made the ideal work bench for folding laundry. A work bench like this could also be perfect as a crafting or tool table. Unfinished basement space can also be utilized as storage. But I have learned to make sure that items stored on the ground should always be in a deep plastic container so that, in the unfortunate event of a flood, the stored items are safer from water. Another good idea is to store the contents on racks that are at least a foot or two off the ground. And as an extra precaution, I would advise placing these in waterproof containers as well to help prevent water damage. This is especially essential if you are storing important papers, or family photos.
I personally am not disappointed that I won’t have a big fancy finished basement someday. I am perfectly happy to adjust that part of my future home. (It just means that I get to claim that as my crafting room!) I also don’t want to discourage others from having a finished basement. These are very nice spaces if you are willing to risk the possibility of flooding. However, I will say that if you have a finished basement or are interested in having one in the future, talk with your insurance company and find out what kind of coverage you have and what coverage is available. Also, make sure that you are prepared for this situation by keeping the SERVPRO of Northwest Cincinnati phone number handy. We are always here to help!